Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Apache IT

Has the Apache Software Foundation Lost Its Way? 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the stopping-for-directions dept.
snydeq writes "Complaints of stricture over structure, signs of technical prowess on the wane — the best days of the Apache Software Foundation may be behind, writes InfoWorld's Serdar Yegalulp. 'Since its inception, the Apache Software Foundation has had a profound impact in shaping the open source movement and the tech industry at large. ... But tensions within the ASF and grumbling throughout the open source community have called into question whether the Apache Way is well suited to sponsoring the development of open source projects in today's software world. Changing attitudes toward open source licensing, conflicts with the GPL, concerns about technical innovation under the Way, fallout from the foundation's handling of specific projects in recent years — the ASF may soon find itself passed over by the kinds of projects that have helped make it such a central fixture in open source, thanks in some measure to the way the new wave of bootstrapped, decentralized projects on GitHub don't require a foundation-like atmosphere to keep them vibrant or relevant.' Meanwhile, Andrew C. Oliver offers a personal perspective on his work with Apache, why he left, and how the foundation can revamp itself in the coming years: 'I could never regret my time at Apache. I owe it my career to some degree. It isn't how I would choose to develop software again, because my interests and my role in the world have changed. That said, I think the long-term health of the organization requires it get back to its ideals, open up its private lists, and let sunshine disinfect the interests. My poorly articulated reasons for leaving a long time ago stemmed from my inability to effect that change.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Has the Apache Software Foundation Lost Its Way?

Comments Filter:
  • People leave, new people come. It ebbs and flows like everything else.

  • The web server glides on pure inertia. The libraries are not much less work than rolling your own. Their documentation is a joke.
    • Solr for starters

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:43PM (#44681177)

      Solr, hadoop, activemq?

      Seriously.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hadoop was based on Google code. Solr was based on CNET's code. I can't really think of much that has come out of the Apache Foundation that is 100% homegrown open source and has a steady, active, mature development cycle. Instead it's all fluff and it just feels like to me that unless you're one of the top 20 Open Source software projects out there, that nothing new is coming across.

        Anyone else wonder if this has something to do with App Markets and the ease of which one can make money?

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          Anyone else wonder if this has something to do with App Markets and the ease of which one can make money?

          I'm not sure it can all be blamed on app markets, but in part that could have an effect. In that scenario, given that the code is free the ability to make money is really based on marketing. People will pay a couple of dollars to save them the hassle of pulling down the source, building it on their PC and then uploading that to their phones but anybody can do that and in the end the best marketer will win out. Of course then there is also the person who is happy to publish the binary for free (no cost) whic

        • by Pseudonym (62607)

          I can't really think of much that has come out of the Apache Foundation that is 100% homegrown open source [...]

          ...including, I might add, Apache HTTPD.

          Of all of the complaints which could be levelled at the Apache Foundation, this one has to be the least relevant. One of the roles that TAF plays is as a place where you can send your code (as long as it's useful and falls under their purview) to ensure that it's looked after.

    • by multiben (1916126) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:47PM (#44681209)
      Check out this link: http://projects.apache.org/indexes/quick.html [apache.org]

      Granted, not all of these are of the highest quality, but it may jog your memory of a few projects which are used in high demand environments everyday.
    • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani&dal,net> on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:49PM (#44681219)

      ActiveMQ, Ant, Avro, Cassandra, Derby, Geronimo, HBase, Hive, Hadoop, JMeter, Lucene, Maven, Pig, Solr, Subversion, Thrift, Tomcat, Zookeeper.

      Don't underestimate the impact Apache has had.

      • ActiveMQ, Ant, Avro, Cassandra, Derby, Geronimo, HBase, Hive, Hadoop, JMeter, Lucene, Maven, Pig, Solr, Subversion, Thrift, Tomcat, Zookeeper.

        Don't underestimate the impact Apache has had.

        Subversion was originally tigris.org. Geronimo and Derby were IBM products (all donated). Also log4j.

        Apache has developed or adopted more products than I can count. OpenJPA, Apache Commons, Axis, CXF, Velocity, Struts. The list goes on and on.

        • by dkf (304284)

          Subversion was originally tigris.org. Geronimo and Derby were IBM products (all donated). Also log4j.

          Apache has developed or adopted more products than I can count. OpenJPA, Apache Commons, Axis, CXF, Velocity, Struts. The list goes on and on.

          That's part of what they do — provide umbrella support for projects with things like hosting, governance, legal and stuff like that. They're clear indicators of success, of impact. Coding isn't the only thing that a project needs. (FWIW, CXF has definitely been developed quite a bit since adoption.)

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      Ant, OpenOffice, HTTPD - all of which are best-in-class for serious use. Of course, there are other options for people who like playing with toys that resemble tools adults use.

      • by Clsid (564627)

        OpenOffice is a good alternative, but by no means best in class. Maybe it is the only serious solution on Linux and that is a different thing. Best in class in that area is still Microsoft Office by a long shot, hell and even Corel WordPerfect Office, since it has some really cool PDF editing tools in the word processor itself.

        But other than that, I think Apache is doing great, even if I never was a Java fan. They have very interesting projects like Nutch/Solr, Traffic Server and by being the main bastion o

    • by kwerle (39371)

      Yeah, I guess I feel the same way.

      Of the projects that folks have mentioned, there are a few that I would have considered using at one time, but none that I would choose to use, today.

      All in all, it has seemed like Apache is where projects go to die for a long time, now.

    • I agree that Apache documentation in general is shite.
    • by Cruxus (657818)
      You're obviously not a Java developer. We're a Java shop where I work, and we make heavy use of Apache: Apache Commons (org.apache.commons.lang.StringUtils.isNotBlank, anyone?), Struts, XMLBeans, Axis2, and of course ant for our build scripts.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    And updating/patching it is easier.

  • hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:59PM (#44681317)

    Apache Software Foundation... hmmm. let me think ... you mean the Java Yank Circle?

  • by Lendrick (314723) on Monday August 26, 2013 @07:14PM (#44681445) Homepage Journal

    I've never understood why they were so keen on helping Oracle thumb their nose at LibreOffice the rest of the FOSS community. My opinion of them took a nosedive when they did that, as I'm sure did many others'. What was the point, exactly?

    • by hey! (33014)

      I've never understood why they were so keen on helping Oracle thumb their nose at LibreOffice the rest of the FOSS community. My opinion of them took a nosedive when they did that, as I'm sure did many others'. What was the point, exactly?

      Er... You *do* know it was the LibreOffice folks who left the OO community to start a new fork, don't you? The motivation for the fork was that they considered Oracle untrustworthy. I happen to agree, but I don't see that Oracle acted maliciously in its short stewardship of OO. People who expected Oracle to contribute support to an "Oracle is Untrustworthy" OO fork weren't being realistic. Oracle was not obligated to support LIbreOffice, any more than you'd expect Red Hat to support CentOS. And under the

    • by zigfreed (1441541)

      Openoffice needed a home away from Oracle, and the Apache Software Foundation is big enough to host it. Being removed from Oracle, OpenOffice was able to become a combination of Sun StarOffice and IBM Lotus Symphony. At this point in time, LibreOffice and AOO have different licenses - LO is GPL, and AOO is AL.

    • I'm glad that Apache took over from Oracle. Why should the only active development be GPL licensed?

  • Betteridge's Law (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Monday August 26, 2013 @07:39PM (#44681599) Homepage

    Once again we have a clear example of Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org]: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

    • Once again we have a clear example of Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org]: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

      If it can be "Yes" too. Andrew C. Oliver clearly thinks so "I have a lot of respect for many of the people on the Apache board, but it's probably time for new leadership and a new perspective on what makes a successful project -- and when it should really, truly be allowed out of incubation and how to ensure private interests don't cloud judgement regarding that". The reality is the answer is more complex than that.

      I understand Betteridge's law of headlines...I am simply tired of it being misunderstood.

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        If the answer were clearly no, there would be no reason to phrase it as a question. In any case, which is more likely? That one guy is dissatisfied with the direction the foundation has been going, or that everyone else involved (a group that includes a whole lot of very smart people) has honestly gotten "lost" (whatever that means)?

        In fact, the only thing that's actually clear is that (at least) one developer has expressed dissatisfaction with the direction the project has been going in recently. So, would

  • Apache is more than just a place to host your code, it provides a lot of other infrastructure, including legal protection. I bet half the projects on GitHub would be dead with the threat of a lawsuit.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      It is worth to recognize that the licensing provided by Apache is different from the licensing provided by GPL, and that both have their merits and disadvantages.

      As long as the organizations of Apache and GNU are aware that their existence depends on the license models they have both will continue to exist along with fully commercial licenses. There are of course a myriad of sub variants of licenses too of all of them.

      When it comes to lawsuits - the only winners there are the lawyers. Everyone else will los

  • Virtual communities like open source software groups or other virtual organizations have an inherent problem with leadership. The main reason is that it's not so easy for somebody to lead unless others see him talk in person. Charismatic leaders build consensus by convincing others partly because they present strong arguments, but also because people like to watch them talk as they are effective public speakers and often of above average looks.

    In a virtual community most of that body language, charisma and

  • Where's the progress on Apache's httpd server? It's still mostly configured from a monolithic, messy text file with .htaccess files sometimes strewn around random directories. There is no web-based configuration even though it's a *web server*. There's no other GUI configuration, and building one to work with Apache's text file is very hard at best.

    I've now switched to Cherokee [cherokee-project.com] and I'm not looking back. I'm not sure what happened to progress with Apache.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      no web-based configuration even though it's a *web server*

      What could possibly go wrong.

    • A web server should not have a web server required for configuring said web server. What type of circular logic are you playing with?

      On that note, what web server *does* have what you are describing?

  • The ASF has not lost its way. It has been overtaken by recent developments, mostly the massive flocking of projects and developers to github, and does not have an answer to that. Either the ASF reinvents itself, or it slithers gently into oblivion within a few years.
  • I'd give the article more credence if the author wasn't using a pseudonym.

  • This was my comment back in 2002 about Star/Open Office
    http://www.computerworld.com/news/2002/story/0,11280,73896,00.html [computerworld.com]

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.

Working...